What Should a Female Wear to a Job Interview?

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May 29, 2020
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min read

What to wear to an interview can be a huge decision for many candidates. With companies going more casual these days, the decision can be even harder. You want to look professional but also feel good.

You can't always find out if the company has a dress code before your job interview though, so it's important to be mindful. In this article, we will focus on women and what they should wear to an interview.

Women want to make sure they aren't underdressed but don't always want to wear a black suit. Let's dive into what is appropriate interview attire in a few different types of companies.

Business Casual Interview

If the company you are interviewing at is business casual, make sure you look professional. Your interview outfit should lean more toward business than casual. It's always safer for both women and men to be overdressed rather than underdressed.

You may not feel comfortable wearing a suit though. In fact, many women don't even own a suit.

If you're in this category, you don't need to rush out and buy a power suit. You most likely have plenty of professional enough interview outfits in your closet.

When interviewing for jobs, candidates tend to perform better when they are wearing something they feel good in. Here are some interview outfits women might consider wearing to an upcoming job interview at a business casual company.

  • A pencil skirt and blouse or dress shirt
  • Dress pants with a dress shirt or blazer
  • A dress with a blazer or sweater
  • Dark pants with a blouse and blazer

Make sure whatever you chose to wear, you keep it simple and clean. Dark colors like black, navy and dark grey always look good.

Even if you are wearing pants, you still want to look professional so avoid tears and holes. Dress shoes can also help tie an outfit together.

Conservative Interview

Women interviewing at an office with a conservative company culture might consider wearing a suit. Keep whatever you choose to wear conservative. Dark colors work best. If you don't have a black suit, navy or a dark shade of grey are other options.

You can still look conservative and professional without wearing a suit. Here are a few other options for women interviewing at a conservative company.

  • Dress pants a blouse and a blazer
  • A dress with a blazer or cardigan
  • A skirt with a formal top
  • A pencil skirt with a blouse and blazer

Women interviewing at a conservative company should keep their legs and toes covered. Make sure you put on a pair of stockings or tights if wearing a dress or skirt. Also, you should never wear sandals or open-toed shoes to a conservative office.

When applying for a position at a conservative company, women should pay extra attention to what they wear to an interview.

Some of these companies are still old fashioned, so be mindful. With conservative companies, a black suit might be your best option.

Casual Interview

For a casual company, you want to get your interview outfit right while still showing your personality. Getting dressed for a casual interview can be one of the hardest for women. You still want to look polished when making your choices.

Remember, casual does not mean messy. It's important to look clean and neat. Here are some great options if you are interviewing at an office with a casual company culture.

  • Dark blue or black jeans with a blouse
  • Clean and neat jeans with a blazer
  • A smart looking dress with a jacket
  • A skirt with a blouse or dressy top

The key is to keep it simple. You don't want your interview attire to be what the hiring manager remembers about you.

Tips for women when it comes to interview attire

Regardless of the type of company you are interviewing for, what you wear on the day of your interview should make you feel great. You want to show the company you are the right person for the job. Now, here are some general tips for women who are interviewing.

  • If you wear a light color on top, make sure it's not see-through.
  • Your clothes should fit well and not be wrinkled.
  • Your interview outfit should be clean and not visibly worn out.
  • A woman's hair should be clean and brushed.
  • Dark colors are always safe for interview outfits.
  • If you wear jeans, make sure they are tailored and generally dark blue or black.
  • Follow the company's dress code.
  • Your interview outfit should show your personal style.

Women should keep a balance between their personal fashion style and dressing professionally. You want to dress for success. Every choice you make when interviewing can affect you getting the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I determine the appropriate dress code for a job interview at a company with a casual work environment?

Research the company's culture by looking at their website, social media, or reaching out to current employees if possible. Aim for a smart-casual look that is a notch above their daily wear, such as tailored pants with a blouse or a conservative dress. It's always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed for an interview.

Are there specific colors I should consider wearing to a job interview to make a good impression?

Neutral colors like navy, black, gray, and white are typically safe and professional choices for job interviews. These colors convey a sense of reliability and professionalism. However, a subtle pop of color can be acceptable if it's not distracting and fits within the company's culture.

Is it acceptable to wear flats to a job interview, or should I opt for heels?

Flats are perfectly acceptable for a job interview as long as they are clean, polished, and professional. If you choose to wear heels, make sure they are a comfortable height for you to walk in confidently. The key is to wear shoes that you feel comfortable in, as this will help you focus on the interview itself.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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